The second in a series chronicling the Twins Dominican Baseball Academy.
The Twins Dominican Summer League team is 17 games into their 2014 season. At 9-8, they currently sit two and a half games out of first behind the D-Backs and Orioles, having a five game winning streak snapped by the DSL Padres on Thursday after walking off the White Sox 11-10 in extra innings on Monday, crushing the DSL Reds 12-2 on Tuesday and getting the Reds again 8-6 on Wednesday.
Switch hitting second baseman Jorge Andrade continued his torrid start, going 1-3 Tuesday with a triple and a run scored. He is hitting .514/.550/.800 with four triples and eight runs scored. Nineteen years old, this is Andradeís third year with the DSL Twins and he is making the most of his extended opportunity. His 2013 season was limited to just 11 games with a paltry .179 BA and just two extra base hits. As I mentioned on Tuesday
, the Dominican Summer League is a talent showcase and in the short time that I watched the DSL Twins, Andrade stood out with his speed and with his bat. The odds of a kid from this team making it to Target Field arenít good, but Andrade would be one to keep an eye on in the future.
Another DSL Twin off to a hot start is pitcher Jose Ramirez. Also a three year veteran of the DSL, Ramirez struggled early in his career. In 13 innings pitched this year he has not given up an earned run, while striking out 10 and walking three with a 0.62 WHIP. Ramirez pitched four innings on Tuesday, giving up two unearned runs, striking out four and walking one. At 21, Ramirez should dominate lineups comprised of 17 and 18 year-olds. He was another standout from my time at the academy, with a heavy fastball and a sharp curve. With his advanced age, it would seem this is his last shot to impress the organization and he is taking advantage.
Aside from Andrade and Ramirez, 21 year-old Williams Ramirez is off to a nice start on the mound. After giving up just one hit and four unearned runs on Thursday, Williams has a 0.48 ERA, 24 strikeouts and 9 walks in 18.2 IP.
Again, a 21 year-old should dominate much younger hitters, many getting their first look at professional pitching. It is difficult to label either of the Ramirezís a prospect, but they appear to be the best of what the Twins have in Baseball City.
DSL Boca Chica Baseball City Standings through 6/19
W L PCT GB
11 5 .688 -
11 5 .688 -
9 8 .529 2.5
7 9 .438 4.0
DSL White Sox
7 9 .438 4.0
4 13 .235 7.5